From dals, pickles, kadhis to papads, there’s much to admire in typical Marwari lunch fare.
It always fascinates me how the arid region of Rajasthan has a cuisine so wide and versatile. As a region it is not blessed with a lot of local and seasonal veggies, even growth of rice and wheat is scarce and sporadic. Yet, your typical Rajasthani Thali never runs out of contents. From dals, pickles, kadhis to papads, there’s much to admire in typical Marwari lunch fare. Here are some of our all-time favourite items.
1. Dal Baati Choorma
How could we not have started our list with this epic dish. Legends say, that ‘baati’ was actually a preferred food for Rajput warriors, who would break the dough in small chunks or roundels and bury it under thin layers of sand, when they would come back, they would find the roundels (baati) perfectly baked. These baatis would be eaten with ghee, buttermilk, or curd, depending upon the availability. This Baati with Dal and Churma has become a dish to reckon with, where dal is a stew-like lentil preparation and churma is simply crushed whole wheat, semolina or almonds.
2. Ker Sangri
The lack of vegetation in Rajasthan led to many unique delicacies that are hard to din in other parts of the country. The Marwaris have a unique way to use even twigs, shrubs and wild berries to whip up something so delicious that you cannot stop yourself from getting up for a second helping. Ker Sangri is essentially a traditional dish boasting with goodness of dried ker berry and sangri beans. Have it with dal and rice for a comforting meal.
3. Panchmel Dal
The word ‘Panchmel’ is made up of two words, ‘panch’ means five, while ‘mel’ means blend. This lentil preparation is traditionally made with blend of five lentils. The dry state may not be conducive for growth of many vegetables, so lentils and millets take centrestage. This delicious dal made with goodness of moong, tuvar, urad, chana masoor dal is flavoured with tomatoes, cumin, garam masala etc. Prepare this dal in pure desi ghee for the best experience.
4. Gatte Ki Sabzi
Gatte or Gatta are besan roundels that are cooked in an onion-tomato-based gravy. Yogurt is also added to the gravy, giving it a lovely tangy flavour. The red-coloured, soothing curry is best paired with rice or hot roti. Have it with the side of achaar or pickle for best experience.
5. Rajasthani Kadhi
India’s love affair with Kadhi is not hidden from anyone. This unique gram flour and yogurt preparation is renowned for having a tantalising flavour. While in Gujarat, they make it slightly sweet, in Punjab, they like it fiery and filled with pakodas. Rajasthani Kadhi is smooth and tangy, perfect for the unbelievably hot weather the region has to endure for most of the year.
6. Khooba Roti
You didn’t think we would wind up our list without a special mention to the Rajasthani breads, did you? Now much is spoken about Bajre ki Roti, Khooba Roti is more popular for its shape and texture than anything else. The roti has several dents and craters on its top surface. It is a work of skill to pinch it while roasting to get the shape right. Slather it with ghee when done and pair it with these curries.